Viking River Cruises, the world’s leader in river cruising, welcomed six new Viking Longships into their fleet this week, following a waterside ceremony in Amsterdam.
The six new ships, Viking Rolf, Viking Kadlin, Viking Alruna, Viking Egil, Viking Vilhjalm, and Viking Tialfi, will join their fleetmates across Europe, with four sailing on the Rhine, Main and Danube Rivers and two sailing on the Seine River through France. Each of the Viking Longships accommodate 190 guests and feature a number of popular spaces and innovative amenities, including the famous Aquavit Terrace, the largest suites on the river, and organic herb gardens for fresh ingredients.
In addition to celebrating the six new ships, Viking also took the opportunity to honor six of their close travel partners as godmothers of the new ships. The ceremonial godmothers, a longtime maritime tradition, included Lisa Anciaux, Director of Travel Products for AAA Washington, as godmother of Viking Rolf; Beth Butzlaff, Managing Director of Cruise Sales for Virtuoso, as godmother of Viking Kadlin; Michelle Chimko, Chief Operating Officer of Alberta Motor Association, as godmother of Viking Alruna; Jennifer Gasser, Vice President of Supplier Relations and Product Operations for World Travel Holdings, as godmother of Viking Egil; Beryl Gibson, Joint Owner of Northumbria Travel Limited, as godmother of Viking Vilhjalm; and Sinead O’Connell, Director of Industry Relations for Vacation.com, as godmother of Viking Tialfi.
“River cruising remains one of the fastest-growing segments of travel, and we would not be the leading river cruise line without the help of travel agents,” said Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises. “The naming of ships by ceremonial godmothers is a naval tradition that dates back thousands of years. The partners we have chosen to name our newest ships are experts in their field, and as Viking has marketed the concept of river cruises over the last two decades, they have always recognized our value in the industry. We are honored to have their support and their participation in this year’s celebration.”
Viking River will continue their expansion through early 2016, debuting a new Viking Longship specially built for Portugal’s Durou River, Viking Osfrid, in March, and in April, Viking will debut Viking Sea, the much anticipated sister ship to the wildly successful Viking Star, which debuted in 2015.